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Old 01-09-2014, 02:38 PM   #1
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Introduction

Hi! My daughter received a 13 gallon tank as a Christmas gift from her grandparents. According to the instructions on the aquarium and from the people at Petco, I only let the tank sit for 48 hours before I stocked it with fish. Because of this, our wonderful and sweet betta (that we had in a plastic 3.75 gallon hospital tank for months) died the day after we moved him to the aquarium . We also lost 1 neon tetra. I am now fish-in cycling the tank, and finally was able to get the ammonia level below 1.0 for the first time today (tank was set up on 12/28)! I have been doing 2 50% water changes each day for the past 2 days since learning about cycling. Currently we have 2 frogs, 1 snail, and 5 neon tetras is the tank. I would like to add a few guppies or platys once we are stable, but I've been getting mixed reviews on whether or not we are already overstocked. Any advice would be welcome

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Old 01-09-2014, 05:41 PM   #2
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How many times do we hear about chain store advice like Petco. Here in the UK we have similar stores. So sorry to hear about your situation.
Firstly you need to get that filter cycled before you even consider adding more fish. Any ammonia reading tell you not to increase the stocking levels. Only when ammonia is zero and nitrite is zero and the nitrate low due to water changes should you move forward. You will need patience whist the tank properly cycles - it could be weeks, but it will happen
Then I would check Ph, Kh and Gh to see what type of fish are best suited to your local conditions. It would be my view that live bearers and tetras have different requirements and don't belong in the same tank. Others might disagree.
I don't think you are overstocked, the old rule of 1" of narrow bodied fish (excluding tails) per gallon would be max stocking. But this does rely on very good maintenance routines. However, I would not add any further fish at this stage adding further to the bio-load.
There are some good threads on 'fish-in tank cycling'. I like to borrow some 'dirty' filter media from a friends tank that is clear of problems. This dirty media (please don't clean it) can be put in your filter or hung on a net in the water flow. The good bacteria will populate your filter that much better.
If you don't already have a test kit I advise that you buy one. The API master test kit and the Kh/Gh additional tests will tell you exactly the health of your tank and lead you towards the purchase of further fish. A personal thing but I do not think live bearers are suited to be with tetras.
Good luck with the cycling. Keep us informed of your progress. We have other members on the forum in a similar position and all because the chain fish shops want to make profit from your failure - nice!
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:31 PM   #3
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Old 01-09-2014, 09:35 PM   #4
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